A narrow road outside a central London school is being closed during rush hour to protect children from traffic and pollution.

Bollards are put up either side of Macklin Street in Camden from between 08:30-09:15 and 15:15-16:00.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School said the 800m (2,600ft) long road was too dangerous for the school children.

In 1952, London was hit by the Great Smog, a week-long pea-souper that brought the capital to a standstill and contributed to the deaths of at least 4,000 people.

According to the Manchester Guardian, the so-called ‘London particular’ had ‘caused an unusual amount of footpad crime and burglary.’ Cars were abandoned by the roadside, trains were cancelled and rugby matches postponed, while the BBC made several programme alterations when presenters couldn’t make it to the studios.

This year, environment correspondent John Vidal had heart bypass surgery – a wake-up call that prompted him to investigate the state of the air we breathe. With 29,000 UK deaths a year attributed to pollution, is it time we cleaned up our act?  

Three months ago, a surgeon at Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital took a saw, ripped through my sternum, levered open my ribcage, cut into the aorta of my still-beating heart and stitched in a vein from my leg. The long, brutal operation was a great success. But it knocked me out and left me unable to walk more than a few paces.